2015 Boat Power Buyer’s Guide




Ever since Yamaha began producing outboard motors in 1960, they have become a common sight on the sterns of everything from inflatables to bass boats to canyon-bound fishing machines. Their next-gen Offshore V6 four-strokes represent the leading edge of high-performance outboard technology. Purpose-designed for offshore use, they feature 4.2 liters of class-leading displacement, are significantly lighter than their predecessors, feature incredible fuel efficiency, and of course, boast legendary Yamaha reliability. In 2015, Yamaha will release the latest iteration of the most popular four-stroke 150-horsepower outboard of all time, the 2.7-liter F150. The F150B now offers even better reliability, easier fishing, quieter operation and an improved appearance. It now has Yamaha’s variable trolling RPM switch (VTS), which allows anglers to adjust the trolling speed in 50-RPM increments from 650 to 900 RPM using a Yamaha Command Link gauge.




Founded in 1939, Mercury Marine has been devoted to quality and innovation for 75 years. They understand that whether you have triple 300-horsepower Mercury Verados on the back of your canyon-bound center console or a single 2.5-horsepower four-stroke on a small inflatable craft, reliability and performance is a must. In 2014, Mercury Marine introduced its new 75, 90 and 115hp four-stroke outboards. Despite their low profile and low weight, the new engines feature a 2.1-liter, four-cylinder, eight-valve, single-overhead-cam design that delivers more torque and horsepower and excellent performance, reliability, handling and efficiency.




Ten years ago, The Evinrude E-TEC outboard engine revolutionized the two-stroke engine in its performance and clean-emissions technology. Now, with the new E-TEC G2, the company has again made a great leap forward in the evolution of high-powered outboard design. These 3.4-liter DFI two-stroke V6 outboards, rated from 200 to 300 horsepower, are designed to produce more torque, better fuel economy and lower emissions. They also offer five years of maintenance-free operation, plus computer-controlled auto storage and no break-in period. But the first thing you’ll notice about the G2 is the new styling. Instead of a typical bucket cowl, the new Evinrude models have a composite exoskeleton that supports plastic panels offered in five different colors and 14 available accent stripe colors.




Suzuki boasts the industry’s largest four-stroke outboard lineup, with models ranging from 2.5 to 300 horsepower. In 2014, Suzuki Marine revealed a new series of compact 200 hp outboards featuring inline four-cylinder blocks and boasting a host of advanced features. The relatively narrow inline design lends itself well to twin-engine installations on a V-hull, and the lighter mass means that you can repower older boats with this new generation of four-strokes.




Honda’s new line of outboards features four-stroke technology with a focus on fuel-efficiency, quiet operation, and low emissions. The BF250 horsepower four-stroke engine is the most powerful outboard to join the Honda Marine lineup and is now the company’s flagship model. It incorporates a host of Honda-exclusive technologies and features a bold new look and improvements in fuel economy and power. The styling concept of the Honda BF250, a departure from previously introduced Honda Marine outboards, incorporates a sleeker and slimmer aesthetic design.




In 1995, Seiko Nakajima traveled the span of the Atlantic Ocean in a homemade boat and a 2.5-horsepower Tohatsu engine. Now that’s reliability! Tohatsu outboards are known for their low emissions, fuel efficiency, and durability. In the past few years, Tohatsu has won countless awards for the value, size, and emissions of their smaller-rated engines. The release of their new 40hp to 250hp 4-stroke outboard motors give the Tohatsu brand a full lineup of outboard motors from 2.5hp to 250hp.




Cummins offers a broad range of power, with available ratings from 40 to 715 horsepower, for recreational and commercial applications. New technology, such as the “Zeus” propulsion system—which boasts steep increases in fuel economy, cruise, and top speed—is just one of the many advancements that Cummins is making in the inboard engine and propulsion system areas. The Cummins Inboard Joystick brings boaters a new level of confidence in both close quarters and around the docks.

  1. Danny

    This is a nice summary but I am looking for recommendations based on performance data or a collection of user input. Do you have any of this data you could share.

    • Michael Villano

      The headline was completely unrelated to the article content which read more like a promo than a review or evaluation.
      Probably the OB manufacturers are sponsors here.
      Hence the worthless article.

  2. Kairi Gainsborough

    This is a great comparison of popular outboard motors. My dad recently bought a used boat that he plans on fixing up over the summer. The motor is one of the most important parts on a boat, so looking at your options carefully is great advice. He wants to be able to pull a wakeboard and water skis, so he will probably want one of the models that has a lot of torque or horsepower.

  3. mike S

    Can someone tell me the difference between a salt water and a non on a 2016 Mercury Verado 250hp, And would you have a idea on price

  4. wes jordan

    I too am looking for performance comparison. Please keep me posted if anyone figures out a good reference website

  5. Dean

    Best comparison I’ve seen so far is from Popular Mechanics…a little outdated maybe , though

  6. michael devereux

    I am looking to power a 22′ North River OS aluminum boat and am considering Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha.
    Which of the above 250 hp motors are the quietest at cruising speed, 4000 rpm?
    Which will have the best economy at 4000 rpm?
    I assume they are similar in their low end torque curves.

    Thank you


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)